Parenting is a magic adventure nobody is ready for. No matter how much advice you get, it’s never enough, and all the babies and families are different from each other. Having said that, and knowing that there’s no such thing as a universal rule, there are, however, some little tricks and hacks that work in most cases. A different use for everyday objects a creative way to deal with situations that are common to all of us, that piece of advice that you’d wish you’d known before, because it could have saved you time and energy.
Because we know that there’s no time for googling when a toddler is around, we collected the 50 best parenting hacks of all time. Read this list, print it, keep it at a visible spot- the fridge door, next to their adorable doodles, maybe? You never know when these can come in handy! Enjoy 🙂
A laundry basket can come handy in the bathtub
A practical way to keep your toddler safe while giving them a bath is using a laundry basket with their toys in them. This will work as a sub-bathtub for as long as they fit.
…And also as a seat!
Add some decoration -maybe a couple of plastic plates to simulate wheels?- throw their toys in and voilà! You got yourself a fun, original seat. Decorating it can also be a rainy day plan.
Magnets on their cups
This is an easy way to prevent their cups from constantly getting lost or being lying around the house. Just paste two magnets to each so you can keep them on your fridge door. Always handy!
Another use for pacifiers
You can use a pacifier to dispense your kids’ drops. This way, they will probably not notice that they are getting their medicine and you’ll easily control that they are taking them.
…and a practical way to carry them around
Empty plastic packaging, like the ones used for nuts and peanuts, is a clean and smart way to carry your kids’ pacifiers around. They will keep them as dry and isolated as you need them to be.
The pro version
It’s called a Keep-It-Kleen pacifier and it automatically closes when it hits a hard surface or it’s dropped. It’s perfect for the baby bag as well. It can be bought online and also in baby stores and drugstores.
No more tears
They are called “baby shower caps” and their function is to keep water and soap away from your baby’s face and eyes. They can also be worn in the rain, but in that case only for playing.
Sprinkle it up!
It’s sometimes difficult to get your kid to drink or eat something that’s not to their liking. Sprinkles -and other colorful items- can be really helpful, for they add an attractive touch that works like a charm!
Band-aids for everything
They are life-saving, not only for those small cuts but also to keep little fingers away from the electric outlets. Just try not to use the ones with cartoon characters so they don’t call your children’s attention.
A rubber band, conveniently wrapped around the door handles on both sides, doesn’t allow the doors to close and is an excellent option to prevent small children from getting locked in the bathroom.
Kids get really excited about dispensers and they can get a large amount of soap out of them, which is a real waste. Again, a rubber band wrapped around the dispenser creates a block and just allows one use.
The most important information
This is a simple, yet very useful idea. You just need to print a sheet with the most important information for the nanny or babysitter and fill in the blanks with the day’s instructions. That way, everything is in the same, very visible, place.
A magnetic solution
A smart way to storage your child’s car toys is to attach a couple of magnets to the wall and keep them there. Using a magnet is also a fast way to collect magnetic little things from the floor.
Keep the monsters away
Water, some soap and an essential oil can act as an aromatizer for your kids’ room as well as a “monster spray”, or a really cool weapon to calm your children down when they are scared.
The magic ingredient
Another great idea to feed a kid who refuses to eat is to add some “magic ingredient” to their food. Just an attractive bottle with colored water can turn a boring meal into a really appealing one.
A second life for the crib
The fact that your baby has outgrown their crib doesn’t mean that it’s not good anymore. You can turn it into a nice reading nook or even a desk. There are lots of DIY tutorials online.
Rock, but don’t roll
This simple and effective hack will help you and your baby sleep better because you won’t have to worry they roll out of bed. You can use either a rolled towel or a pool noodle, just tuck it under a fitted sheet to create a bump.
Inked, but not red
Removing a temporary tattoo can leave your baby’s skin red and irritated. Instead of scrubbing or using nail polish remover, which could not be so safe at early ages, try some hairspray + a cotton ball.
The Command hook trick
We just can’t believe we hadn’t thought about this before. It’s as simple as attaching a plastic hook to the back of your baby’s seat. Towels, bibs and other items can be hung there for an easy access.
Easy hands washing
Another great solution for an everyday problem. Kids normally can’t reach the tap, so cutting a plastic bottle -the shampoo ones work really good for this purpose- and hanging it from the faucet will conduct water directly to their tiny hands.
A chore is not a chore
Who says kids can’t do chores? If you present them in a playful way, they will. Just ask them to do little things, like competing with you on who collects the more toys, or brooming the floor.
It’s important for your kid to feel understood and listened to. Sit by them, look them in the eye and adopt the pace they move and speak at. Then ask them what’s going on with them. They will open up to you easily if they feel this kind of connection.
The toothpaste trick
Dirty sneakers are a constant in our kids’ life – not to mention what they look like after a rainy day out! They can be easily cleaned up using a tiny brush and toothpaste. As good as new!
Stick to the right side
And talking about sneakers… If your little one is starting to put on their own shoes, help them by placing a sticker on the inside. Cut it in halves before, so they can see what foot each shoe corresponds to.
Sooth the baby’s gums
You don’t need popsicle sticks or containers. You can just make a popsicle putting a pacifier into an ice tray. Milk, juice and squeezed fruit are nice options for this little treat.
Let it melt
A muffin cup or a disposable coffee lid can prevent sticky hands and ruined clothes. Place them in the middle of the stick and don’t worry about the popsicle melting anymore.
The pizza cutter trick
Cutting our kids’ meal can be hard work, but using a pizza cutter makes it easier and faster. Just be careful they don’t reach for a piece of food while you are still cutting.
The coolest hammock
It is as easy as getting a large piece of fabric -like sheets or a really long body wrap- and wrapping a table with it. The knot on the top has got to be really tight, and you should not leave your children unsupervised while using this hammock.
Kids love forts and a creative way to give them one is using a mattress and a fan. The fan will bring stability and support it in the right position while they play. Again, advising them not to jump too hard and don’t let them unsupervised.
Protect those little fingers
Use a pool noodle as a doorstop. Set it high, so they can’t reach it and remove it -believe us, they are going to try to-. You can easily take it off when you need your door closed.
The most relevant bracelet
Beaded bracelets are the coolest thing a little child can aspire to use -especially if they are colorful and shiny. Make the most out of them forming your child’s name and your number and make sure they wear them out of the house.
Tattoos with relevant data
This is another way to identify your kid. It requires some more preparation because you need to order them, but you can never be too cautious when it comes to children, can you?
A little sugar
Dipping a lollipop in your kid’s medicine is a clever way to get them to take it. It will taste sweeter and you can let them finish the lollipop afterward.
A family picture for security reasons
Another preventive action that just takes one second and can be very important. When going out to crowded places, take a family picture. In case your children get lost, you can use it to show exactly the way they look that day.
A drying rack for books
Practical and great. The drying rack is excellent for keeping all the books and magazines in the same place, and it even has room to store crayons, markers, and pencils.
Of course crayons, markers and color pencils can end up on your floor and walls rather than on a piece of paper. If you don’t want them to be covered in “abstract art”, give your children a magnetic doodle. They are hypnotizing.
Marshmallows for the throat
Marshmallows soothe a sore throat and they are also a sweet relief in a moment that can challenge your kids’ mood, so it soothes both -the soreness and the crankiness!
For when they’re coughing
Lathering some VapoRub on their feet and covering them with thick socks really helps to relieve your children’s cough. Of course, we recommend calling a doctor too in order to find and treat its cause.
Warm little socks
There’s a great little device called Nursery spa that you can buy to warm socks, towels, and other clothes, but there’s no need to spend money on a tool like that when you can recur to the old and trustable oven.
Soothe an earache
Another trick involving socks, this time for a sore ear. Fill a sock with rock salt and a couple of drops of an essential oil. Heat it on medium-low heat for about five minutes, and place it against your child’s ear.
The cold spoon trick
No time for making ice popsicles or freezing a pacifier? A quick trick for your kid’s aching tooth is to put a spoon in the freezer for a couple of minutes.
Pads for potty training
You can find different pads and products for potty training in the market, but the same pads you use work perfectly and are very comfortable. Put them in the kids’ undies until they get to manage their bladder control.
Keep count of the medicine’s dose
If you use a piece of paper, you might lose it, especially if your child is taking a night dose. Use a marker to draw a calendar on the bottle and tick it until the treatment is over.
A coverall is a great idea, but sometimes babies just don’t like them. Use an old T-shirt of yours instead. Since it’s oversized, you can easily take it off over his head after your baby is done eating.
A playful dinner
Eating out with a toddler might be challenging. If you want to spend a quiet evening, give them some things to play with while waiting for the food or the check. You can turn cardboard cup sleeves into “superhero arm cuffs” or “spy goggles.”
Use your imagination
The old “here comes the plane” trick to feed babies is just an example. Kids can accept rules easier if they are presented to them as games, so let your imagination flow and play by their rules for a while.
Your idol’s gone to bed
An example of imagination use is telling your kids that their idols have gone to bed and that’s why they should too. A stuffed figure of their favorite character goes a long way in making them feel safe and getting them to sleep.
Ready and willing to draw on your walls and windows? Use a ziplock cut in halves and hand them their markers or paint. They will probably make some mess, but not as much as they would otherwise.
Removing your kid’s “art”
There surely are more sophisticated ways to remove your kids’ doodles from your furniture, but using WD-40 for crayon marks and toothpaste for marker ones is a quick fix that works.
An apple a day…
… keeps the doctor away, but sometimes children don’t eat it all. Prevent it from going brown by putting the slices back together with a rubber band. It will still look good and taste delicious some hours later.